The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD. —Proverbs 19:3
No one had a better start than King Saul but his life was ruined because he left God out of his plans. He made many stupid decisions and suffered the consequences. Then he has the nerve to be angry with God. That is what the word “fretteth” means—Blaming God for the failures in life when it is really our fault.
Israel fretted against God for 40 years in the wilderness because of their unbelief, when they could have been enjoying “milk and honey” in the promised land.
I have met and know some people who are angry with God because they get lung cancer after they smoked cigarettes for many years. God never forced that cigarette in their hands. There are men who are angry with God because they got AIDS from having an illicit love affair. Their own behavior ruined their life and they cannot see it. I’ve seen parents become bitter with God because their children turn out to be hellions, when the real problem was poor parenting skills.
Don’t take your frustrations out on God when you reap the harvest of having your own way instead of going God’s way. You only have yourself to blame!
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. —Romans 8:26
“I can’t think or pray or feel as I ought. What shall I do?” You never will be able to do or be perfectly as you wish you might while you are in the flesh. You are a child of Adam, and the best falls far short. How often have we resolved, yielded, committed, dedicated ourselves, and then felt how poorly we had done it! No one ever prayed a prayer or preached a sermon that completely satisfied him. We are not to look in that direction for satisfaction.
Paul says in Romans 8 that we do not even know what to pray for as we ought, let alone how to pray, but the Spirit makes up our lack. God knows the intent of the heart, however poorly the lips express it.
If you can’t pray like you want to, pray as you can. God knows what you mean. And you have good help – the Advocate who is God’s Son and the Comforter who is God’s Spirit. They will take your feeblest prayer and make it perfect.
As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. —1 Samuel 30:24
Two hundred of David’s men could not go on with him in pursuit of the Amalekites. They were faint and stayed at the brook Besor. When the four hundred who fought the battle returned with the spoils of victory, some did not want to share with those who had “tarried by the stuff.” But, David ruled otherwise.
For one reason or another, some of us do not get over Besor. Some saints are housed in feeble bodies or otherwise kept at Besor. They never make the headlines with the four hundred who fight on the front lines. Some prayed and toiled to keep the hardier souls in the battle, and when the final prizes are awarded “they shall part alike.”
They feared the Lord, and served their own gods. —2 Kings 17:33
Israelites were living a double life. One the one hand they feared the Lord, but on the other hand they served their own gods. The Lord was the God of their lips but not of their lives. Jesus described them, “The people draweth nigh me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” He asked, “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Paul writes of those “who profess that they know God; but in works they deny him.”
What we profess on Sunday needs to be practiced the rest of the week. Worship and work must bear the same witness. It is what we serve that tells the tale. No man can serve two masters. The shame of too many church members is that they lead a double life; they fear the Lord and serve their own gods. I pray this is not true of you.
“I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” —John 10:28
How can you have assurance that God will not save you today, then change His mind about you tomorrow?
I read a story about an elderly grandfather who was very wealthy. Because he was going deaf, he decided to buy a hearing aid. Two weeks later he stopped at the store where he had bought it and told the manager he could now pick up conversation quite easily, even in the next room. “Your relatives must be happy to know that you can hear so much better,” beamed the delighted proprietor.
“Oh, I haven’t told them yet,” the man chuckled. “I’ve just been sitting around listening—and you know what? I’ve changed my will twice!”
Remember, God always hears us, but He will never change His love for us, because we stand before Him by grace.